The Oakland Raiders returned home for their third preseason game to take on the Green Bay Packers.
The third preseason game is usually when we see the Oakland Raiders’ starters play a bit more than normal. And while some starters did get some extra possession, this game was still another chance for backups to continue fighting for roster spots.
When you see Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers you’d expect points, sadly this game was anything but high scoring. Lots of sloppy play and a crazy amount of penalties (23 total) from both teams. And a lot of good play on defense by both teams as well.
Oakland came out swinging on the opening play as Derek Carr connected with Amari Cooper for a 49-yard pass. The offense would eventually get into the red zone, but the drive stalled at the GB 14 yard line after a Carr sack and fumble. So they would settle for three points from kicker Mike Nugent.
Green Bay quickly responded on their opening drive as backup quarterback Brett Hundley moved them down the field. Including a 37 yard pass down the sideline to Geronimo Allison after cornerback Rashaan Melvin slipped during the route. However, they too would settle for a field goal as Mason Crosby would hit a 42 yarder.
Things cooled drastically after those first two drives as neither offense did much for the rest of the first quarter.
The second quarter was a frustrating one for Oakland as they had two promising drives that resulted in no points. The first one was at the start of the second quarter where Connor Cook was picked off by rookie corner Jaire Alexander after the Raiders had moved the ball just outside the red zone. Then with 3:31 left in half Nugent missed on a 49-yard field goal attempt.
Fortunately, Oakland avoided disaster after a pick-six from the Packers’ other rookie corner Josh Jackson was called back because of a defensive holding penalty. Cook stared down Seth Roberts on a deep out and threw a ball that was late and behind Roberts making it easy for Jackson to intercept it.
The half would end at a 3-3 tie.
E.J. Manuel took over to start the second half, but not much changed regarding offensive production. And just like last week, Manuel was careless with the ball as he fumbled on a scramble because he chose not to slide. The turnover helped spark the Packers, and with a short field they moved down to the Raider 3-yard line, but after two penalties took a touchdown run off the board, they settled for another field goal from Crosby making it 6-3 in favor of Green Bay.
Next possession the Raider offense showed a pulse as Manuel made some decent throws and moved Oakland into the red zone. They were not able to finish the drive with a touchdown but did tie the game at 6-6 with another Nugent field goal from 32 yards out.
Oakland would get the ball back quickly mid-4th quarter, and with the help of Green Bay penalties, they would reach the end zone on a Chris Warren 1-yard run giving them a 13-6 lead. This would prove to be the game-winning touchdown.
Final Score: Raiders 13 Packers 6
Key was relentless off the edge and showed a motor I definitely did not see all the time while he was at LSU. He was getting off the ball quickly and force a holding and false start penalty. The talent was always undeniable with Key, but it is good to see him putting in the necessary work.
On the opposite side of Key, Brown was just as relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback. He absolutely abused backup Packers tackle Kyle Murphy and jumped off the screen throughout most of the game.
The rushing total was not as impressive as the first two preseason games (15 carries for 54 yards), but Warren did score the game-winning touchdown. And despite the mediocre numbers, Warren was still running very hard even though he got very little help from his offensive line.
This was another disappointing outing from the backup quarterbacks, and it is beginning to look like neither one can be trusted. The defense, however, looks to be far more comfortable and better coached by new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Obviously, the Packers are a much different team with Aaron Rodgers under center, but the Raiders dominated the backups like they were supposed to.
The Raiders will fly up to Seattle for their fourth and final preseason game. Don’t expect to see any of the starters the play at all as most teams rest their player in preparation for week one of the regular season.